How To Move On From The Death Of Someone Close To You

Hi Heather,

My best friend recently died in a terrible accident. The worst part is that I moved across the country and I won’t be able to attend his services. I feel devastated and so alone. I’ve moved a lot and this is my fifth high school, so I don’t have many friends. He was all I had for seven years… we were supposed to graduate together and we had so many plans since I was going to move back and go to college with him. How do you cope with the loss of your only best friend? How can I move past this? What should I do for the future? How can I stop myself from crying all the time? Any response would be greatly appreciated.

I’m so, so sorry you’re going through this right now. Dealing with the death of someone close to you is incredibly difficult, and everything you’re feeling is totally valid.  It’s horrible that this happened, and I know that there is very little anyone can say that will make you feel better.

I wish I could give you a magic solution that will allow you to feel at peace with this and help you move on. Unfortunately, I can’t. When it comes to moving on from death, the best thing you can do is give it time. I know the saying “time heals all” sounds corny and cliche, but it’s popular for a reason: it’s true. Death hurts, losing someone you love hurts. It takes time to get past that hurt and to start to feel better.

I realize that’s incredibly frustrating, and I know that you want the pain to go away quickly – that’s a normal feeling to have. While I can’t tell you anything that will make you snap your fingers and move on, I can give you suggestions on how to start to move on. First, accept the fact that you can’t attend his services. It stinks that you can’t, and I know that that is a big part of the moving on process for many people. Figure out a way to have that ceremony on your own. Hold a mini ceremony for yourself, or for you and your family, and give yourself that option to say goodbye. It doesn’t matter that you couldn’t be at the funeral – you can say goodbye in your own way, whatever that is.

Second, try not to focus on this too much. It’s easy to get sucked into this kind of pain, to not be able to think about anything else. You can’t let that happen or you will never move on. Try to keep yourself busy, whether it’s at school or work or doing some sort of hobby. At the same time, let yourself have moments where you can cry and feel sad. Mourning is a big part of the process.

You may want to consider seeing a therapist, especially if you feel you have no one to turn to. A professional can really help you deal with these complicated feelings, and it is definitely something worth thinking about. If that doesn’t seem like something you want to do, please find someone to talk to. Keeping everything inside isn’t a good idea. It can be your parents, another family member, or a friend. I’ve been in a situation like this, and I found that writing a long letter to my deceased friend made me feel better.

As for your future, don’t worry. I know it seems scary now, and I’m so sorry that your plans are ruined. But you can still do some of the things you were going to do without your friend. Go to the college you want to go to. Do as many of the things you two planned to do as possible, in tribute to him. Don’t stop living your life because he isn’t here, because you know he wouldn’t want that. I know how hard this is, and it will be hard for a while. But I promise one day it won’t hurt as much. Until then, stay strong.

take care,

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 8 ways to deal with the death of a friend

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  • Leslie Hoff

    This was a FANTASTIC post. Thank you for sharing with your readers and this is a very healing and productive way to look at death and to deal with death. When I lost someone close to me I was recommended a book that really helped me through the grief. I would like to recommend it to your readers as well. “Love Never Dies: How to Reconnect and Make Peace with the Deceased” by Dr. Jamie Turndorf ( I was amazed at how deeply this book affected me and how much it helped me through the grieving process. I love the idea of my loved ones reaching out to me through spiritual means, I often see “signs” that they are with me. Dr. Turndorf explains these phenomenons and uses examples from her own loss to show us the deeper meaning behind these occurrences. Such a nicely written and thoughtful book… It is another way to look at death and it really helps!